The Florida real estate market remains a prime target for Canadian investment, with a particular focus on South and South West Florida.  These Canadian purchasers are being credited with playing a role in the rebound of the Florida housing market, which has seen a 12% increase since its April 2011 low.  Indeed, notwithstanding competition from South American buyers and emerging interest from Asia, a recent BMO Financial Group report indicates that Canadians are Florida’s number one foreign buyer of real estate.

Canadian Dollar Remains Strong

This is particularly true as the Canadian dollar remains strong as compared to the U.S. Dollar, a far cry from the historical exchange rates seen before the economic downturn.  As a result, Canadian buyers continue to flock to Florida – not just for the sun and the sand, but for the investment opportunity as well.

And these Canadians are coming with cold, hard cash. In fact, research reports have touted that while 8% of all home purchases in Florida are cash purchases, an astounding 89% of 2010 Canadian real estate purchases were made in cash.  Researchers largely attribute this statistic to Canadians being less burdened by the mortgage crisis than Americans and Europeans.  With so many Canadians of all ages looking south for opportunity, it is not surprising that many sellers and brokers have even headed north to meet potential buyers.

Rise in Cost of Florida Real Estate Investment

Whether it be a winter getaway or an income-generating investment property, given the momentum that has been generated by Canadian purchases of Florida real estate – reports indicate that more than 500,000 Canadians currently own property in Florida – this trend shows no sign of slowing down, although as the market rebounds, the cost of investing in Florida appears to be on the rise.